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The commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean online

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qacntcm, ttatio. Ab hac ad urbem Valate- '" XAAMOTI, pronounced Salmoos, and

gerd, quae et Valasecherd dicitur, statio. formed like Pessinus Pcssinuntis, Selinus 6eli-

^ Maaoun is noticed also by Ebn Haukal, nuntis ; written in Latin originally, Pcssinuns,

p. 139, 14.^. Selinuns, and so I«A/*2v; laXjut^yrpv

'° n^vDi jSallah, a rampart, from 'jQ


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barren account of this expedition. Giroft is styled the capital ^
of Karmania by Petis de la Croix in his commentary on Cheref-
eddin ; which however it is not, for Seirdgian is the capital :
he adds, that it is four days* journey from Orniuz, and lies ia
latitude '' 27'' 30'. It is noticed by GoHus as a large and plea-
sant place, abounding in corn, fine fruits, and good water, and
much frequented by the caravans ; it is a place also of such
importance, that when Mirza Mehemet, the son of Timour,
invaded the kingdom of Ormuz, he made it a post'* for his
brother, who commanded one of the divisions of the army.
According to the Nubian Geographer, there is an inland Hor-
moz-regis, or Hauz, lying between Phoreg and Giroft 'S which
would induce a conjecture that, at the time of IVIirza Mchemet's
invasion, the kingdom of Ormuz extended inland, or originated
beyond the mountains, which line the coast ; and that the name
passed in the first instance from the inland town to the coast,
and then from the coast to the island. If this conjecture be
founded, it conesponds admirably with Arrian, for Nearehus
found no city, but a district called the Harmozeian country, and
probably the seat of government was at that period the inland
Hormoz, existing as a kingdom or province of Ormuz, nearly^
in the same manner as in the age of Timour. Tlxe march of
Mirza Mehemet's army in four divisions^ for the invasion of this
Jcingdotn, throws ^ much Ught on this subject, if it were neces-

'* The Nubian Geographer. Giroft autem '* There is an error in the Nubian Geo-

magna est habetquc in longitudine duo fere grapher, who says, firdt, that Hormoz is be-

xniUiana, p. 1 29. tween Phoreg and Giroft^ and afterwards that

" I believe Pctis de la Croix's latitudes are it is to the west of Giroft^ which is impossihk.

fromAbuUfeda. SeeCheref-eddin^volii. p.4i8. D'An?ille has placed Hormoz between the

'^ Golius ad Alfraganum, not. p. iiS, two, and therefore probably read OriaUcm for

Distant one day from Harmuz ; if so, it is the Occidentemf the east for the west,

inland Ormuz. . ?* Chercf-cddin, vol. ii. p. 417.

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K A R M A N I A- 339

«ATy to pursue it farther. One circumstance, however, must
not be omitted, which is, that the position of Girofl depending
on the Gadr6sian Poora, or Phorcg, it is remarkable that the
Nubian Geugiapher ^ places Phoreg at the commencement of
the great desert which extends to S^gestan, and at two hun-
dred and tea miles '• distance from the capital of that province.
It is the lower part of that desert which Alexander had just
passed ; and this furnishes an additional proof to the direction
of his march, and a stronger reason for conducting it to Giroft
instead of Seirdgian the capital, because, if he llad inclined
to the north, his course would still have been through the same

Upon the arrival of the army in Karmania, intelligence was
received that Philip, the new-appointed satrap of India, had
been assassinated by the native troops in his pay, and bis deatfi
revenged by the Macedonians. Eudfemus and Tdxiles were
ordered to take charge of the province till a new satrap should
be appointed. Stas4nor, the satrap of Aria and Drangidna;
Pharasmdnes, the son of Phrataphernes, sati*ap of Parthia and
Hyrcania; Oleander, Sitalces, and Herdkon, with a consider-
able force, and the army of Parmenio out of Media, all joined
Alexander in Karmania, where Oleander and Sitalces, being
ticcused of oppression and sacrilege, were tried and executed.
Oraterus also anived with the elephants and heavy baggage,
having experienced none of the difficulties in his march through
Arach6sia'* and Drangi4na% which Alexander had encountered

^ p. 129; chas, which, if detailed, would have thrown

'• His account is not clear. great light on this march, and the country in

" It is probable he fell into the route from general.

Candahar to Yczd, which is still the course of ** See d'Anville Gcog. Anc. p. 287. voL ii.

the caravans* See Steele's Journey in Pur«

X X 2

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in Gadr6sia ; and yet by a view of the map, and a reference ta
the geographers, we can hardly discover the means of his avoid-
ing some part of that desert on the east of Karmania, which ^le
Nubian Geographer says'\ is the largest in the world. All
these circmnstances, tliough foreign to the voyage itself, are
necessary to be mentioned at least, because they account for
the delay of Alexander in the province, where so much busi*
ness ** appears to have been transacted, besides the recovery of
his troops after the fatigue and distress of their march.

Thus having considered the march of the army and its present
position, I shall next examine the dates. Nearchus reached
the A'namis on the twentieth of December, and it is no mattCT
of difficulty to shew the correspondence of that date with the
movements of the army. It has already been proved that
Alexander left Pattala in the latter end of August, see p. 181 ;
and before the conclusion of that month, there is sufficient evi-
dence to shew, that he had passed the country of the Arabics
and Oiltae, and had entered Gadr6sia. The proof of this is, a
circumstance mentioned of his encamping in that province, after
a distressful march upon the bank of a torrent, which swelled
suddenly from rain that had fallen in the mountains, and swept
away all the baggage of those who, for the convenience of
water, had pitched their tents too near the course of the stream.
This fact is recorded both by Strabo and Arrian ; and it proves
that, though no rain falls in Gadr6sia, the solstitial rains were
not yet over in the mountains which encircle that province on
the north. ^ Now Strabo says^ that the rains end about the rising

•' P. 1 28. of Siburtius to the Mtrapy of ApoUophanes^

•* At Poora there was also the appoiBtmcnt oVcr the Oritae.

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K A R M A N I A.


of Arcturus **, that is, the second of September ; and conse-
quently the army must have been in Gadr6sia, and suffered this
calamity, in the latter end of August. If, therefore, we add
another fact to this, upon the authority of Arrian, that the
array was sixty days in passing Gadr6sia, we bring its arrival at
Poora to the end of October, The business transacted here and
in Karmania may reasonably be supposed to have occupied six
weeks, to which an additional circumstance, not noticed by the
historians, must be added, that is, the remounting of the
cavalry ; for all the horses had perished in the desert. Thus far
a comparison of facts would authorise the fixing of a date to the
first or second week in December ; but we have a positive proof
of the season much stronger ; for when Alexander, after receiv*
ing Nearchusi, recommenced his march to the northward, he
dispatched Hephdstion, with the greater part of the army, the
baggage, and the elephants, to proceed along the sea-coast of
Karmania, because it was now Winter'*, and thecliYnate**
was there milder^, and supplies '' were more easily to be pro-
cured : that is, Hephi^stion passed the mountains, and traversed
tiie modern Moghostan** and Laristan, or Kermesir, while

•^ Straboy p. 691. Usher, from Euctemon,
•ays on the fifth of September. See EphS*
meris de Anno Solar. Maced.

^ Arrian, p. 270.

•* «' Towards the west of Jircft (Giroft)
«* snow falls." Ebn Haukal, 142.

®* aXtufd Ti ^y. Scc a very long and angry
note of Gronovius's upon thh word, because
Facius and some others had ready IXimai n tivf

•^ If we suppose Heph^stion to have passed
the mountains at Mina, which it probable, he
marched to Lar the same road by which

Pietro de la Valle was carried dck in a litter
to thc«amc town. Scc vol. v. sub fine.

" Nicbuhr says, from Bender Abbissi to
Delam ; it is an arid plain called Kermesir^ or
the hot country, by the Persians. Vol. ii.
p. 14.3. English edition. Pietro de la Valle
confirms this, by mentioning that it seldom
rains at Lar, except a little in May. May ts
the coldest month. Vol. vi. p. 20. et seq;
Strabo is very precise in hisagrecment with
Nicbohr, p. 72; ; for he says, the sea coast
along the gulph, as far as the river Oroates, is
barren, hot, and exposed to violent wioda for

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Alexander, with the remainder of the forces, proceeded inland
to the northward of the mountains, and directed his course to
Pasagarda, The direct mention of winter in this passage cor-
responds so precisely with the twentieth of December, which
the narrative of the journal produces, that there cannot possibly
be an error of more than a few days. Such an error, I have
before intimated, must lie on the side of excess ; and I am dis-
posed to take off the ten days and fix Nearchus's arrival at the
A namis on the tenth of December, in the year three hundred
and twenty-six before the Christian aera, in the eleventh year of
the reign of Alexander.

The pleasure of being once more on land, after all the dis-
tresses they had experienced, is painted in strong colours by
l^earchus ^ ; and as they were now in a friendly country, with-
out apprehension either of famine or danger, the people were
soon dispersed over the neighbouring tract, either from curir
osity, or a desire of supplying their several wants. One of these
parties accidentally fell in with a straggler, whose dress •''and
language discovered him to be a Greek ; tears •' burst from their
eyes upon seeing once more a native of their own country, and
hearing once more the sound of their own language. Inquiries

three hundred or four hundred stadia inland :
from thence, a fine country to the aorth^ for
eight thousand 8tadia !
•9 Arrian, p. 348.

^ The classical reader will call to mind the
same natural sentiments attributed to Philoctc-
tcs by Sophocles, 1. 222.

TVoi%i wir^xi vfxoi civ n yiwu^ woti
Ti>x®*P* *" iiWy ; a)^,iia, /xly yap EXXa^


Of what clime ? what race ? .
Who are ye ? Speak ; if 1 may trust that garb.
Familiar once to me, ye are of Greece,
My much-lov'd country : let me hear the sound
Of your long wished-for voice.

And afterwards,
fl ^tXrwrov <PamfJM* ^w to koH XotCsTv
Tlfoa^ry^ to*5 S* av^po? h XP^W /^tax^aL
Oh happiness to hear !
After so many years of dreadful silence.
How welcome was that sound I Francklim.

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K A R M A N I A. 34^

commenced with the eagerness natural to their distress, when
they learnt that he had not long left the army, and that the
camp was at no great distance. They instantly hurried the
stranger with all the tumult of joy to Nearchus ; in his presence,
the same happy discovery was repeated, with assurances that
the king was within five days' journey, and that the governor of
the province was upon the spot, from whom farther intelHgetice
might be obtained.

Tliis circumstance of good fortune occurred on the day of
their arrival. Nearchus instantly determined to undertake the
journey, and the next day ordered the ships to be drawn on
shore, and the camp to be fortified. While he was engaged in
these transactions, the governor, who was not unacquainted
with the anxiety of Alexander on account of the fleet, and
thinking to recommend himself by carrying the first intelUgence
of its anival, hurried up to the camp by the shortest route, and
gaining admittance to the king, informed him that the fleet was^
safe, and that Nearchus himself was coming up in a few days.
The joy of Alexander may be readily conceived, notwithstanding
he could scarcely allow himself to give full, credit to the report.
Impatience succeeded to his doubts ; day passed after day
without confirmation of the fact ; and at length when due allow-
ance had been made, and calculation was exhausted, he dis-
patched parties different ways in search of Nearchus, either to
find him out if he were upon his road, or, if found, to protect
him from the natives : but when several of these parties returned
without success, concluding the governors information was a
delusion, he , ordered him into confinement, not mthout the
severest reproaches for rendering his vexation more acute from
the disappointment of his hopes.

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In this state of suspense he continued for several days, mani-
festing by his outward deportment the anguish he suffered in his
heart. Nearchus, however, was actually on the road ; and,
while he 'was proceeding with Archias and five or six others in
his company, fortunately fell in with a party from the army,
which had been sent out with horses and carriages for his ac-
commodation. The admiral and his attendants, from their
appearance, might have passed unnoticed. Their hair long and
neglected, their garments decayed, their countenances pale and
weather-worn, and their persons emaciated by famine and fa-
tigue, scarcely rouzed the attention of the friends they had en-
countered. They were Greeks, however, and of Greeks it was
natural to inquire after the army, and where it was now en-
camped. An answer was given to their inquiry ; but still they
were neither recognised by the party, nor was any question
asked in return. Just as they were separating from each other,
" Assuredly,'' says Archias, " this must be a party sent out for
" our relief; for on what other account can they be wandering
" about the desert ? There is nothing strange in their passing us
" without notice, for our very appearance is a disguise. Let us
" address them once more, and inform them who we are, and
" learn from them on what serv^ice they are at present em-
" ployed.'' Nearchus approved of this advice, and approach-
ing them again, inquired which way they were directing their
course ? " We are in search of Nearchus and his people," re-
plied the officer;— and " I am Nearchus," said the admiral;
^* and this is Archias ; take us under your conduct, and we will
** ourselves report our history to the king." They were accord-
ingly placed in the carriages, and conducted towards the army
without delay. While they were upon their progress, some of

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K A * M A N I A. J45

the horsemen, impatient to carry the news of this liappy event,
set oflf for tlie camp to inform the king, that Nearchus and
Archiag, were arrived, with five or six attendants, but of the rest
they had no intelligwice. This suggested to Alexander, that
perhaps these only Avere preserved^ and that the rest of the
people had perished, either by famine or shipwreck ; nor did
he feel so much pleasure in the preservation of the few, as dis-
tress for the loss of the remainder. During this conversation,
Nearchus and his attendants arrived. It was not without diffi-
culty that the king discovered who they were, under the disguise
of their appearance ; and this circumstance contributed to con-
firm him in his mistake, imagining that both their persons and
their dress bespoke shipwreck, and the destruction of tlie fleet.
He held out his hand however to Nearchus, and led him aside
from his guards and attendants, without being able to utter a
word ; as soon as they were alone, he burst into tears, and con-
tinued w^eeping for a considerable time ; till at length recovering,
in some degree, his composure, " Neatchus,'' says he, " I feel
" some satisfaction in finding that you and Archias have
" escaped ; but tell me where, and in what manner, did my
" fleet and my people perish ?'' " Your fleet,'' replied Near-
chus, " is all safe, your people are safe, and we are come to
" bring you the account of their preservation.'' Tears, but from
a different source, now fell much faster from his eyes ; " Where,
" then, are my ships ?" says he. " At the A'namis," replied
Nearchus : " all safe on shore, and preparing for the complo
" tion of their voyage." " By the Libyan Amnion, and the
" Jupiter of Greece, I swear to you," rejoined the king, " that
" I am more happy at receiving this intelligence, than in being;
" the conqueror of all Asia ; for I should have considered the


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" loss of my fleet, and the failure of this expedition, as a coun-
" terbalance to all the glory I have acquired/' — Such was the
reception of the admiral, while the governor, who was the first
bearer of the glad tidings, was still in bonds : upon the sight of
Nearchus, he fell at his feet and implored his intercession. It
may be well imagined that his pardon was as readily gi-anted as
it was asked.

The joy was now universal through the army; a solemn
sacrifice was proclaimed in honour of Jupiter the preserver, of
Hercules, of Apollo the averter of destruction, of Neptune, and
every deity of the ocean : the games were celebrated, and a
splendid procession exhibited, in which Nearchus was the prin-
cipal ornament of the pomp, and the object which claimed the
attention of every eye. Flowers and chaplets were wreathed
for his head, and showered upon him by the grateful multitude,
while the success of his enterprise was proclaimed by their ac-
clamations, and celebrated in their songs. At the conclusion
of the festival, the king informed Nearchus, that he should no
longer expose him to the hazard of the sea, but send down some
other officer to conduct the fleet to Susa. " I am bound to
" obey you,'' replied the admiral, " as my king, and I take a
•< pleasure in my obedience ; but if you wish to gratify me in
** return, suffer me to retain my command, till I have com-
" pleted the expedition. I shall feel it as an injustice, if, after
*' having struggled through all the difficulties of the voyage,
" another sliall finish the remainder almost without an effort,
" and yet reap the honour of completing what I hare begun."
Alexander, scarcely permitting him to conclude his request,
granted all that he desired, and sent hi^m down again to the
i^oast, with a small escort ; not supposing that there was any

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danger in the neighbourhood of the army, or in a country which
seemed to be sufficiently subdued : but in this he was mistaken ;
the Karmanians resented the deposition ^ of their satrap, and
had in consequence taken up arms, and seized some of the
strong places in the province ; while Tlep61emus the new-
appointed governor had not yet had time to establish his autho-
rity. It happened, therefore, that Nearchus encountered two
or three parties of the insurgents on his march, and reached his
distination at last, not without considerable difficulty. Upon
joining again the companions of his voyage, he sacrificed to
Jupiter the preser\'er, and exhibited the usual games •' for his

The interview of Alexander and Nearchus needs no comment ;
but I cannot set the fleet afloat again till I have observed, that
there is nothing in the original to contradict the conjecture I
have made, that Nearchus took the route of Mina to cross the
mountains, in his way to Giroft ; that he had passed them, and
was on his fifth day's journey, when he met with the party
which conducted him to the army ; and that the natives he en-
countered on his return were probably straggling bodies who
had secured themselves in the passes above Mina'*; it ap-

•* Sec a note of Gronovius'a upon titiXiw- says it is some leagues from the coast. He

rnxfiy on this passage: who proves, that it did not visit it; and therefore his distance

does not mean " put to death," but " dc- must be from report. Vol. ii. p. 142. Eng.

•* posed," p. 352* edition. But I have no direct authority for

•^ The king celebrated an Ly^^ fxuaixoif fixing either Mina or the A'namis precisely.

xd\ yupwov; Nearchus's was only yvpixojr. If d' Anville is correct, the site I give for the

The /xWMcov, or trial of mental talents, seems river is too much towards the south ; and if I

always to have made a part of Alexander's am mistaken, the measures of Arrian mislead

games ; the yviuixiv^ that is, the trial of bodily me. His error, if proved, must lie between

strength, or address, was suitable to the situ- Neoptana and the A'namis. Some of our

ation of Nearchus ; he had probably no /A«r»xo4, English officers who have been at Gomeroon

bards, orators, or musicians in his company. must be able to determine the position of the

* ^ Niebuhr writes this name Minau ; and river Ibrahim.

y \ 2

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pears likewise that the strong posts thej had seized vre^ m
the same part of the cotmtry, and perhap occupied with a
view of intercepting the comniuntcation between tlte armj and
the coast.

By rescinding ten da}"s from the journal, I brought the fleet
' to the A'namis on the tenth of December ; and if we allow
Nearchus to have set out on the thirteenth for the camp, ten
days for his journey, and three days for his continuance there,
brings our account to the twenty-sixth : he did not, however,
sail immediately on his return ; his sacrifice and his games oc-
cupied one day at least ; the launching of his vessels and pre-
paration for sailing may be supposed to employ two more ; so
that there can be no material error in assuming a date of some
importance, the first of January in the year three hundred and
twentj^-five A. C. for his departure from the A'namis. We may
conclude, also, that Alexander and Heph^stion proceeded on
their separate routes •* a few days previous to this date ; and this
supposition will be suflicient to justify Arrian^s assertion, that
the march of Heph^stion commenced in winter.

« ' The fleet is now to take a new departure with the commence-

Island, uicnt of the ncw year; and the first day'is progress is nearly

^a!^Tc!' nineteen miles, to the island of Oaracta^; in the course of

First station, ^yhich, a dcscrt island was seen called O'rgana, an island which

I am now convinced corresponds with the modern Arek or

L^Arek^, contrary to the supposition inserted in the former

<>diticMi, where I had imagined it to be Ormuz. Whether there

9' These two routes join agam,accordiQg to ^ L'Arek is one league and a half from.
Pietro 6t^ Vallei within a short distance from Ormuz. Cutleri p. 85. D'AnvIlle makes it
the modem Shiraa. VoU v. p. 351* larger thao Ormuz ; but MK^luer was on shore

9^ Dajism, Dsjes Dras^ of Niebuhr. Kismis, on it, and makes it less. Niebuhr writes it
KheKm> written Queixomo by the Portuguese. Laresdsj.


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K A R M A N I A. iA9^

19 any coimesiion betweea the names Qf Ofeg and Oreganft»
wliich I had conceived to be the true orthography of O'rganat, I
^MtU not pfCB*itne to determine ; but I skfii persuaded, ^>y the
sruggestion of the venerable Professor lieyn^/", and by 9, reference
to the course of the fleet in consequence of hi& advice, that my
former arrangement was erroneqvia, apd that tl>e assumption of
O'rgana for Avek solves Beany difficulties in regard to the mea-
sures assigned to tlm part of the navigation.

O'rgana is described as a desert island by Arriaix, and con-
tinues so to this day. It is visited sometimes by the Arabian
corsairs, who frequent the gulph for the purpose of fishing of
piracy. Pietro della Valle mentions landing here with a party
of Enghsh firora the ship he was on board, and adds, tiiat they
tetumed loaded with game and goats. Even this minute cir-r
eumstance bears^ a resemblance to the report of Arrian, who
notices goats on other uninhabited islands in this sea. Tombs
and places of sepulture likewise occur, which may have been
erected by fugitives from either coast, who take refuge on the
felands when they are oppressed on the continent ; and as these
are built of more lasting materials than the houses of the natives
©n either side, it is not improbable that an appearance of this
sort may have given rise to the fable of the tomb of E'rythras,
from whom the sea is supposed to derive its name. His se-
pulchre is placed by diflferent authoi-s at Tyring and Oaracta ;
and if the same circumstance occurred there, or in other islands

^ Ph>fes8or Heyne waa the first to recom- tbc satisfaction to learn from tfae comqiunica^

Biend the voyage of Nearchus on the continent, tion of the Professor^ tbat> ^except in this

Online LibraryWilliam VincentThe commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean → online text (page 30 of 49)